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tv   Weather World  BBC News  April 17, 2017 10:30am-11:00am BST

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this one has been of scotland. this one has been bringing some snow. this was ca ptu red bringing some snow. this was captured earlier from the shetland isles. yes, the air is that cold. snow in the northern isles. moving into aberdeenshire, most of the snow here will be over the hills, but you could get some hail, maybe sleet at lower levels. this wintry mix will continue to push southwards. perhaps a bit of wintriness over the hills of the scottish borders towards the end of the afternoon. otherwise bright sunny spells coming through. england and wales, we have seen this strea k of england and wales, we have seen this streak of cloud across central areas, that's going to continue to be the focus of a few light showers. most of these should die away by the time we get to the afternoon. the cloud gradually breaking up, there should be sunny spells coming through. temperatures, highs between a cold six in shetland to a milder 14 a cold six in shetland to a milder 1a in london. then overnight watch out gardeners for northern areas, we could see temperatures as low as minus eight in scotland. damaging frosts on the way for some. that's the weather. you're watching bbc news. the
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headlines: prince harry reveals he has had counselling after spending 20 years not really thinking about the death of his mother. there is stuff here ready to deal with. it was 20 years of not thinking about it and then two years of total chaos. us vice president mike pence tells north korea that neither you the united states nor south korea would tolerate further missile and nuclear tests. tu rkey‘s tests. turkey's president erdogan said he will press ahead with sweeping new powers after narrowly winning a referendum. police in ohio are searching for a man after he posted a video and facebook of himself shooting dead and elderly stranger. now, where the world, and we have
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been to northern ireland to look at the relationship between aviation and the weather. this time on weather world, we are in northern ireland, airside at belfast international airport. we are going behind the scenes to find out what it takes to keep these planes flying and you and i safe, whatever the weather. also on weather world. devastation and deadly floods in south america. but some dramatic escapes too, after months of heavy rain leave towns under water and mud, as landslides kill hundreds. weather bomb — the storms so strong they hold a unique place in weather science, and have taken california from drought to deluge with the ground giving way. and extreme heat — wildfires as parts of australia endure their hottest summer. plus.
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michael, you have some history there, haven't you? taking the temperature — i will be opening the archives of one of the world's longest running weather observations and watching how it is still being done today. i will be taking a trip back into my own family history and aviation's past to see how some of today's technology was born. welcome to weather world at belfast international airport. 13 miles north—west of the city of belfast, this site was first established as a military base in the first world war. since then, it's grown to become the busiest airport in northern ireland with over five million passengers travelling through it last year. the airport serves other uk and european destinations, plus there are flights to the usa. weather and airports — so much can go wrong, can't it?
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it's an interesting relationship. thunderstorms, fog, wind, snow. someone that knows all about those weather challenge is michael cockroft, the general manager of air traffic control here. hello, michael. hi. is there a day that goes by when you are not thinking about the weather? no, so every day, when the controllers come into work they're obviously thinking about the weather. the surface wind is very important in terms of deciding what's the direction of runway for take—off and landing. interested in the cloud, the type of precipitation, if it's rain, heavy rain or drizzle, and also down to fog, which all affects flights and flight safety. we are interested in knowing all we need to about that. there is something specific about the airport here at belfast which is about the weather and increases your flexibility. yeah, we are one of the only remaining uk airports that still operates a cross runway. the main runway faces east—west. we have a cross runway, 1735, which sits at right angles, from the main runway. it's orientated more
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or less north—south. we tend to find, particularly during the autumn when we get low pressures coming across the atlantic, we get strong southerly gales. a pilot's preference is is to land into wind, when the cross wind gets roughly around 25—30 knots, the pilots will opt to take the other runway for a safer approach and take—off. thanks, michael. weather is so important and sarah's in the control tower now to take a look at how they get the very latest weather information here. this is the main weather system used here in the air traffic control centre. all the numbers and figures on the screen correspond to continuous weather data that's collected. we record things like wind direction and speed, visibility, any significant weather around, as well as, importantly, cloud amounts and heights, too. every half an hour, a metar is issued, a meteorological aerodrome report. that will help pilots make operational decisions about whether it is safe to land or whether they might need to divert to another airport.
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when the weather gets rough, the landings get tough. this plane struggles to maintain a steady approach to manchester airport in february, in the uk's fourth named storm of the season. winds of up to ioomph hit the uk as storm doris blows in. i can tell you, as you see the foam hitting me from the sea, that it definitely has materialised, gusts here are so powerful i can't even face in the direction the wind is coming from. as reporters tried to remain upright, some trees failed. a lucky escape here for a driving instructor. but the storm did claim the life of a woman hit by falling debris. and it wasn't just the wind doing the damage. there was heavy snow too here in scotland. storm doris was an area of low pressure that underwent explosive cyclogenesis, deepening very rapidly, so strengthening very quickly. storms like this have become known as weather bombs.
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snow emergency. a life—threatening storm pummelling the north—east right now. this was another. a major snow storm hits the north—east usa in march, bringing to an abrupt end what had been a mild start to the year. and for the first time in 33 years in new york, march was colder than february. there's cold and there's frozen solid. this house became encased in ice after strong winds blew water from lake ontario over it, which then froze. amazingly when the ice melted, these pictures show the house emerging virtually unscathed. europe's coldest winter month was january, with the unusual sight of snow on greek island beaches. but the bitterly cold weather brought fresh misery for migrants at camps such as these in the balkans. then disaster in italy, a mountain hotel buried by an avalanche. 29 people are killed but amazingly, some survive, rescued more
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than two days later. oh, my god! tornado season in the usa peaks in spring, but this is february in louisiana. oh, jesus. thank you, lord. and new orleans is hit with its strongest tornado on record, but worse came even earlier. a january outbreak of tornado sweeps through south—eastern states, leaving total devastation and 20 dead, more than died in tornados in the usa in the whole of last year. it's a beautiful day here at belfast international airport today, but visibility is not always this good. in fact, the airport can be prone to seeing some pretty dense fog. michael is going tojoin me now and can you explain just how do you land a plane when you can't see the runway? certainly.
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we have an instrument landing system at the airport. part of that system is called the glide path. it sends a signal out in space to the pilot and tells him if he is too high or too low as he makes the approach to land. we have another signal at the other end of the runway, called the localiser, and it tells the pilot if he is left or right of centre line. the combination of the two, left, right, up, down, safely guides the aircraft to land at the airport. wonderful. so we have had a look at what it looks like from the ground, but what i would love to see is how this instrument landing system works from up in the skies. shall we take a look? absolutely, let's go. so michael, we are up in the air. can you explain to us a little bit about how this instrument landing system, the ils, works from the pilot's perspective up here? absolutely. you can see the pilot gets the distance from touchdown. it's being displayed to him at all times in the cockpit. so he knows how far he is from touchdown. he's currently being vectored by the controller to intercept the ils. you can see from the ils signal at the moment, the needle is slightly to the left of the centre line. that means the aircraft needs to fly to the left to get on track.
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i suppose in very poor visibility conditions, in very thick fog or blowing snow the pilot would completely rely upon this instrument? absolutely. and the system at aldergrove allows the aircraft to fully auto land in those sort of conditions. we took to the skies thanks to air ambulance northern ireland, but every commercial airline has an instrument landing system on board, so, no matter where in the world you make your landing, the guidance given to your pilot will be exactly the same. it takes an awful lot of power to power the ils, all this kit, and also an entire airport. but you might be surprised to hear where that power comes from. let's head down to nick on the ground to explain more. infact, sarah, belfast international airport requires 1.8 megawatts of electricity every day. and they get it right here, right next to the airport, from tens of thousands of solar panels. and on a sunny day, this gives the airport all the power it needs. over here, if you listen carefully, that whiny sound is the power
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being made, because even though it's cloudy, there is still solar energy coming through converted from dc to ac power through this inverter. alan whiteside is the operations manager here at the airport. how important is this solar farm, has it become to the airport? it's been a great success for us. in the first nine months, it produced 27% of the energy that we use on an airport. it still is producing on a day like this. on a really good day absolutely everything on airport, from radars to instrument landing systems, security systems, baggage systems, absolutely everything on airport is running on it. it is still producing excess for the grid. in fact, we can see what it's been doing for the airport today through this display unit, here. the sun has come out occasionally today, hasn't it? yes, this shows the last 2a hours
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of production with it. last night, around sundown, it was still producing, then it dropped off through the night period. from dawn, it's gone up. we had a rainy period here this morning. it still is producing 250, 500 kilowatts. at peak times today, when the sun has come out, the clouds cleared a bit, it's producing 1500, 1600 kilowatts of energy. so it's working very well, even for northern ireland! i wish you many more blue sky days. thank you very much. but bbc weather watchers know cloudy days have their pluses, too. and theyjust got a whole lot more interesting, thanks to the release in march of an updated cloud atlas from the world meteorological organisation. it features newly—classified cloud formations such as these kelvin—helmholtz, orfluctus, as seen in dorset. and these dramatic undulating asperitas clouds, pictured here in the peak district. still to come on weather world.
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michael, you have some history there, haven't you? temperature tradition — more than 200 years of weather observing in ireland. i will go back to the beginning and see how it is still being done today. we have had a look at modern aviation here at belfast international airport. but now i am stepping back in time to learn a little bit more about the history and the relationship between aviation and the weather. i have a personal reason for being here, too. we will look at that later on. for now, let's head inside and meet our guide ernie cromie from the ulster aviation society. hi there, ernie. hi, sarah, it's a real pleasure to welcome you to the ulster aviation collection. thank you for having us. so ernie, before the introduction of modern day satellite and radar data, aircraft played a vital role in weather observing and forecasting. can you tell us more about that? yes, indeed, basically what it involved was the aircraft off the weather flights going out over the atlantic primarily, from where most of our weather systems come, and taking a range of observations at different
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altitudes, observations of temperature, humidity, pressure and so on. it would have involved, in some cases, flights of up to eight or nine hours in length. every so often, the data that was being collected would be signalled back to aldergrove. and from aldergrove, it would be sent to the forecasting office in dunstable. why don't i introduce you to malcolm wilde, a colleague who was a met observer on the weather squadron at aldergrove in the post—war period? that would be fantastic. let's go and meet malcolm. hello, malcolm, great to meet you. so, you were a met observer on those weather flights. what was that like? yes, well, it was a very interesting period in my life of doing national service in the air force. we initially had very old aircraft, the halifax. we used to be directed by the weather forecasts, we would fly for the day into where the worst weather was to find out
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what was really happening. as we tended to fly the majority of the flights fairly low down, it could be very bumpy. it could be very wet at the front because the aircraft used to leak a bit, being old. you could have lightning and it was also a very difficult exercise for the whole crew, for pilots to fly and navigators to get there and back. and with the poor radio waves and everything like that, we would often be a bit of truck. ican imagine. it was arduous for the whole crew, not just the observer. i just sat back. ernie, i mentioned earlier that i had a personal link to this place. my grandfather was an aeronautical engineer in northern ireland for many years. can you tell me a bit more about that? i'd love to. i really wanted to show you this aircraft, the short sb.4 sherpa, a unique aircraft. it was built in 1953 to test the properties of a novel type of wing which your grandfather designed. a revolutionary newjet aircraft goes for its trials. the short's chief designer,
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david keith—lucas, planned the sherpa on his drawing board and now test pilot tom brook—smith gets set to continue. we are delighted it is now part of the ulster aviation collection because of the fact it is a unique research aircraft and your grandfather was responsible for it. thank you so much for showing me this little bit e?’ e’e— 52’ £55? f—ezi ef’ as; iz—ze. .... .. .. . .. look how the driver of this truck manages to get outjust before it's swept away. and again as this hotel collapses into a flooded river. dozens of people have died in peru since the start of the year. here is another lucky escape. as a mudslide churns up the debris
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of what was once someone's home, a woman emerges. slowly, she is able to find her feet and step to safety. the rains have been blamed on unusually warm sea water off the coast of peru, but notjust peru has suffered. disaster in colombia. torrential rain sends a mudslide into the town of mocoa, submerging homes, businesses and people. the death toll reaches into the hundreds. some people in the area have blamed climate change for the extreme rain. others say deforestation means mudslides are more likely. further south in chile injanuary, drought, heat, strong winds and then fire. this was the town of santa olga,
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destroyed by wildfires, said to be the worst in the modern history of the country. thousands of homes are burned to the ground. summer fires break out in australia, too, nearly 100 at one stage in february in new south wales, as record high temperatures produce catastrophic fire danger. in march, the weather takes a dramatic turn as cyclone debbie first hits queensland and then new south wales. floods follow and after its hottest summer, sydney has its wettest march in 20 years. now, viewed from a helicopter, something quite astonishing is unfolding california in february. car—swallowing sinkholes are appearing. there goes another. it is notjust cars disappearing. the ground is literally giving way as the state undergoes a remarkable transformation from drought, with a succession of storms and weather bombs bringing flooding rain. there is so much water that the overflow from this dam is needed for the first time in 50 years but it fails, leading to evacuations, with fears of unrestrained floodwater being sent downstream. in a world of changing climate and weather,
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some things change very little. like this weather ritual which has been happening for over 200 years. at 9am every day, shane kelly takes weather observations here at the armagh observatory, a0 miles south—west of belfast. his work and that of those before him has made this one of the longest—running series of manual weather observations in the world. shane, you have been doing this for 18 years and the temperature record goes back over 200 years. do you feel the weight of responsibility of keeping this going? seeing as it has been unbroken for 200 years, i don't want to be the one who breaks that up and becomes infamous. it is a unique empirical record. it is a very useful record for research, schools, education, for the general public. quite a lot of weather stations are now automated. what do you think is the benefit
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of having you doing this every day? we had an automatic weather station several years back, an experimental one. it broke down, sometimes we lost records. we did not lose any records on the manual side. on the automatic station, you were sometimes recording wind speeds 0f1170 mph. you can see how an automatic station can get it wrong. do you think of the day when this might become automatic and you will not be required to do this any more? i think it will become an automatic station, but i think the manual station will run side by side with it as long as there is a will for people to go and get up in the morning and take readings and do it every morning and keep the unbroken record. these are those first records, safely stored at the observatory. its director michael burton is about to show me how it all began. hi, nick. you have some history, there, haven't you? i certainly have, these
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are the first readings of weather here at the armagh observatory. let's look at that first reading. let's do it. it's the first folder here. we have the logbook. i'lljust open it up and we have this page at the top, here. these were the very first measurements made. wow. it has held up quite well, hasn't it? it has, indeed. what is it telling us? well, we can see, first, the date, the first measurement is the 27th of december 179a. we are measuring a few simple things, the temperature inside and outside. so in fact there are two thermometers, one in the observatory by the telescope and one outside in the grounds. and the barometer, the air pressure. over time, things get more detailed. notes are made about significant weather events that take place here. if we come to the more recent past, if you can call the 19th century that, what happened here? well, yes, here we come to the record of 1839, the time of romney robinson, who was the director here for 59 years, would you believe? he is recording notjust the weather but notes about the weather. the comment here says,
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"a tremendous gale in the night". there was a fantastic storm that night, it got robinson thinking about how one measures and quantifies the strength of the wind. and a few years later he came up with the design of what we call the anemometer, the robinson cup anemometer, which is now used the world over to measure the wind speed. one of his first models is still here? that's right, it's on the roof of the observatory building, and you can go and see it. i have an amateur weather station on my back garden and it has this on it, and to think it all started here in armagh. yes, this is the robinson cup anemometer. this one comes from 1870 but the basic, very simple design is how we measure wind speed the world over today. it really says something about the design that it has lasted the test of time. that's right. a simple design, four cups spinning in the wind, you can measure the wind speed and that is how we know wind speeds around the world today.
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michael, it has been fascinating seeing some of the weather history at the armagh observatory. thank you for showing us around. thank you for coming. we are back at belfast international airport, now. so far we have looked at how weather is pivotal to operations here and have seen some of the systems in place to deal with very changeable weather conditions. i'm going to put some of that into practice and with the help of michael, we will use this traffic control simulator to try to safely land a plane. we're going to imagine it is a foggy day at belfast, we have two inbound easyjets, 46a to the south and 33 to the north we will vector them and establish them on the ils at ten miles. and once they are safely established under the instrument landing system we can pretend we are transferring them to the tower controller at that point. so if you say, "ezy 464, descend to altitude 3000 feet." ezy 464, descent altitude 3000 feet.
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so we record the level on the strip and we watch the radar display. you can see the aircraft is starting to descend. it looks like now, this aircraft has safely intercepted the instrument landing system and it is on the approach to the runway. yes, you can see the aircraft is now approaching two miles from touchdown. he has been safely established. the aircraft is probably still on a full auto land because it would be in fog and the pilot would be letting the aircraft land. that was really well done as a first attempt at vectoring an aircraft on to finals. intercepted at nine miles, which is what we expected to happen. well done, a very good first attempt. my first aircraft, safely landed! absolutely. fantastic. now from our busy skies to roads, and these iconic london cabs are far from where you would normally expect to see them. this is the arctic circle, where they are being tested
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but the manufacturers also hope to sell the cabs in other polluted cities like moscow, which of course gets a bit colder in winter! finally, we have had automobiles, planes of course, and now, trains. this is what happens when you are waiting at a station after a snowstorm but the first train is nonstop. in march, new york commuters get a second helping of snow, but this one was not in the forecast! that is it for weather world this time from northern ireland. we will be back later in the year. until then, keep checking the forecast. let's look at that first reading. where did i put it?! we have lost the first reading from 1794! from now onwards the first readings will be from 1795. ignore him completely.
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hi there. we will look at the weather going on at the moment across the country. - satellite weather going on at the moment across a e country. - satellite weather going on at the moment across a lump itry. - satellite weather going on at the moment across a lump of 1. - satellite weather going on at the moment across a lump of cloud i satellite weather going on at the moment across a lump of cloud stretching e picture a lump of cloud stretching across england and wales has been bringing light showers. another front coming in to the northern isles of scotland, this has been bringing some snow. this was one of oui’ bringing some snow. this was one of our weather watcher pictures showing a light dusting of snow in the shetland isles. thanks for these pictures of that wintry weather. through the next few hours this band of rain, sleet, hail, and hillsnow, will continue to push southwards. a bit of that coming into aberdeenshire, maybe later to the scottish borders area could see wintriness over higher ground too.
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away from that sunshine for western areas of scotland, northern ireland brightening up too. for england and wales we have this streak of cloud, it will tend to thin a little so a slow process but eventually we should get some bright or sunny spells. showers become rare later on this afternoon. most areas will become dry. temperatures, a range from a chilly six in shetland to about 14 in both plymouth and also london. overnight something gardeners will be wary of, we are expecting a sharp frost behind this front that slides southwards. clearing skies, light winds, coldest weather, scotland and northern england with temperatures plummeting. how low will they go?e as low as minus eight we could be looking at. this could be a damaging frost. gardeners might want to take some action. apart from the cold start tuesday looking like another
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decent day. sunshine turning hazy for scotland and northern ireland later. an approaching weather front will bring rain to the western isles. another sharp frost for the first part of wednesday, this time it's england and wales that sees the low temperatures, perhaps down to minus seven, again damaging frosts for gardeners. take note of that. a fairamount of for gardeners. take note of that. a fair amount of brightness for england and wales but turning cloudier in the north and west. through the rest of the week it's high pressure that dominates the high pressuleihaldominatestbe picture across the north. - really arm» the hfirtn’fiifi“ fééflg’ ""' f252? ,.-. of ete‘fié‘fé 2. la; es. ;,%,;,. £4 5; 7.49.7,” ..—.. ..—.. ...... .. going ts ii a. f of~ 7777 w w 7 ete‘fié‘fé 2. la; es. ;,%,;,. £4 5; 7.49.7,” ..—.. ..—.. ...... .. going e}; ii a. f of dry 777 w w 7 there is going to be a lot of dry weather over the next few days. not a great deal of rain. turning warmer to the end of the week by day, but we have the sharp frosts to contend with over the next couple of nights. remember tonight in scotland and northern england will have the really low temperatures. tomorrow night we are looking at the rest of england and wales with low temperatures. gardeners might need to ta ke temperatures. gardeners might need to take action to mitigate against
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that frost. that's the weather. this is bbc news. i'm joanna gosling. the headlines at 11... prince harry reveals he's had counselling
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